If you know exactly what you are doing- What is the point of doing it?
The good-to-great companies at their best followed a simple Mantra: Anything that does not fit with our organizing principle we will not do. If it does n't fit, we don't do it. Period'
-Jim Collins, Good to Great
The ability to innovate is a key competency that one as a leader, manager or entrepreneur must possess for building a growing, profitable organization and to make a company go from "Good to Great". At the same time managing the innovation is in itself a challenging task which organizations need to cultivate and nurture.
Organizations in general go through the dilemma between Pablo and Jim Collin's philosophies with the need to continuously innovate VS the need to have a focus and disciplined approach and therefore have to strike a careful balance to make the two qualities co-exist and complement one another.
Innovation is the process of conversion of a creative idea into a usable solution or product, or, a process - in which creativity is applied every aspect of the organisation's value chain.
So where should this Innovation happen? Only in R&D department of the organizations? I would say, that such organizations would become boring and bureaucratic. Innovation must persist in every part of the organization's value chain. Ideas can sprout anywhere and everywhere, however these ideas in every organization will have to be listened by senior management and nurtured using a well-defined process.
And why should we innovate? There are three reasons again in my opinion
- To Energise our People - organizations competitive advantage is driven by its great people , and great people love to come up with new ideas and implement them.
- Build Growth and Profitable organization - organizations which excel at innovation are also more profitable than those don’t. Innovation is the key to build market share and we see today companies like Apple, Google, Amazon etc doing this around us.
- To Survive- organizations which fail to bring new innovations that create value for their customers will become extinct and loose to competition. We see for Ex Hindustan Motors which made the once famous Ambassador cars, which we rarely see around us today.
So, Can every Idea generated be considered for Innovation? The answer is NO.
The ideas generated will have to be filtered using three GOLDEN questions:
How will we build Business around this Idea
- How will we make money out of this idea, or lead to cost reduction/ savings by easing a process.
- How will we sustain growth and profit
Successful innovation occurs when an idea or invention in an organization - be it related to a Product, Service or a Process is joined with a Business strategy. Once tied with the Business strategy, the idea has to be implemented with great discipline, design and skill within a specified time frame. This process of tying up an creative idea with a business strategy - with the goal of transforming into an innovation , leading to competitive advantage, growth and profit is called Innovation Management.
In Sasken , we have the forums like KenTechFest, Quark etc, which are frameworks essentially built towards nurturing innovative ideas . There is a well defined process towards innovation and innovation management and we all need to use these forums more effectively to come up with new ideas , improvements in processes - to add value to products & skills for ourselves as well as to our customers. We however need to be conscious on the three GOLDEN Questions, so that our ideas are tied up with business and growth- leading to Successful Innovations.
Authored by Ravi TVS
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